Tuesday, March 3, 2015

[On a branch] - Kobayashi Issa

Translated by Jane Hirshfield

On a branch
floating downriver
a cricket, singing.

I posted a haiku by Issa just a few days ago, and I was captivated to the point where I had to look up another.  What I like about these haiku are how remarkably alike they are to later Imagist poems and other forms of early modernism which merely present a scene without attaching any sort of emotional attachment or moral lesson to them.  The scene isn't romanticized, but it certainly is Romantic, but without any of the grand emotion that goes along with that movement.  What we're left with a lovely scene, a clear image, and a chirping sound.  It's completely wonderful.

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